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Possible Train 'strikes' - Alternative transportation

I would appreciate some advice regarding potential train rail strikes. Is there a way I can keep track of impending rail strikes, and are there alternatives ways of getting where I need to be. I will be in London in mid July for two days and traveling to Oxford for a summer course. I have purchased a train ticket for the day I need to be in Oxford, however if there is a trail strike does anyone have any recommendations for another way to travel to Oxford. It's a worry.

Thank you

Posted by
6710 posts

So far Great Western have maintained a level of service throughout the working day.

The Strikes are announced in the Media 14 days beforehand and on the Rail Company websites soon afterwards. The level of service to be provided is usually confirmed about 3 or 4 days before the strike day.

However if there was no service provided then the normal alternative is The Oxford Tube inter city coach service from London Victoria calling at various points in West London on its way to Oxford and a number of locations in Oxford City.
This runs frequently 24 hours a day so you will always be readily able to get to or from Oxford from London.

Posted by
5147 posts

My daughter was in Oxford last summer for those courses , and was really impacted by a train strike, when trying to leave. She had a rental car reservation, but when she showed up, there were no cars available. (It was a third- party car rental, I think Expedia.) Because she really wanted to travel on that one day, she ended up taking two planes to get to Edinburg from Oxford. Money was no object, and now she has a great story.

In retrospect, is it financially feasible to make train reservations on two different days? Of course, the strike could get canceled. But if the strike is on, and as it gets closer, you may not be able to get a train ticket a day earlier.
Assuming this is the Oxford Summer Experience you are attending, she had a great time and it is a quality experience.
Good luck!

Posted by
6710 posts

If a strike happens and no feasible level of service is provided a pre purchased train ticket can be used (without your having to do anything- just automatically accepted) the day before and 2 or 3 days after the strike.

Posted by
315 posts

My best friend was in England during last summer's strikes, and had lined up library visits in Oxford for her research. This research couldn't be postponed, so she booked a seat on a coach and arrived at the bus stop early (7am?) to make sure she got a seat. It worked out, but was stressful until she was actually sitting on the bus ;-)

We were there at the time, too, for work, but either had a car or were staying put during the various strikes.

Posted by
33329 posts

I haven't yet heard of July strikes, it is a bit early yet. You will always have 14 days notice. There are not wildcat strikes.

You put 'strikes' in quotes in your title - what does that mean?

Posted by
5383 posts

During strikes GWR from Paddington runs about half the trains to Oxford compared with normal, plus you can connect into stopping services at either Reading or Didcot as well. Children Railways from Marylebone run nothing.